In this article, we will examine the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in the Dallas/Fort Worth area so that you can, hopefully, avoid them.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
Collisions between cars making left-hand turns and motorcycles are common, and sadly, often result in fatalities. In 2019, NHTSA reported that in nearly half of all fatal crashes involving a car and a motorcycle, the car was turning left at the time of the crash.
Cars turning left typically strike oncoming or passing motorcycles in intersections. Common reasons for left-turn accidents include:
- Driver Distraction
- Low Visibility (it’s often difficult for drivers in cars to see and judge the speed of motorcycles)
In Texas, the law is clear on who’s at fault here: drivers turning left must yield to other traffic. Although, if a motorcyclist is speeding, riding in the wrong lane, running a red light, or driving recklessly they may be found partially at fault.
Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,142 lives in 2020. The number of distracted drivers on the roads in the U.S. has dramatically risen across the globe over the past 10 years, likely due to the increased cell phone use while behind the wheel. Many drivers in Texas are guilty of looking down at their cell phones, texting, scrolling through their social media feeds, skipping a song, and engaging in other forms of driver distraction when they should be focused on the road. Distracted driving poses one of the greatest risks of a driver not seeing a motorcycle, likely causing a collision.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Lighter and more powerful motorcycles, such as supersport bikes, tend to encourage speeding and other high-risk behaviors. Speeding is among one of the top causes of motorcycle collisions. In fact, the NHTSA reported that 33% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were speeding.
If a motorcyclist is driving too fast, they may not have the chance to hit the brakes in time to avoid an unexpected hazard, such as a motor vehicle that comes to a sudden stop or fail to yield the right of way. Speeding and other forms of reckless driving, such as racing, weaving between traffic, and running red lights have also caused collisions between motor vehicles and motorcycles, causing severe injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol was responsible for 25 percent of the total number of people who lost their lives in traffic accidents in Texas in 2020. An impaired driver is incapable of operating a vehicle safely. They typically experience blurred vision, reduced reaction times, muscle weakness, confusion, and other issues that make them more inclined to make bad decisions behind the wheel, increasing the odds of a crash to occur.
Motorcycle accidents that don’t involve another vehicle operator are likely caused by dangerous road conditions and often stem from environmental factors. Dangerous roadways may have potholes or loose gravel, causing the motorcycle operator to lose control. Bad weather, animals crossing the road and mechanical defects can also contribute to motorcycle crashes.
Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are often fatal, or otherwise cause severe, life-changing injuries, such as:
- Concussion and permanent brain damage as a result of bikers being thrown from their motorcycles.
- Broken bones, spinal injuries, whiplash, organ damage, and internal bleeding caused by high-force impacts.
- “Biker’s arm,” which is permanent nerve damage in the upper part of the body caused by landing on one or both of the arms during a crash.
- “Road Rash,” which occurs when a rider is knocked off of his or her bike and slides along the pavement or gravel.
- Facial disfigurement as a result of the rider’s face coming into contact with the chin bar of the bike.
Motorcycle accidents can drastically change the quality of one’s life in an instant. If you’ve been injured, don’t hesitate to contact our Carrollton motorcycle accident attorneys. An experienced lawyer can help you recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
We’re Here to Help On Your Road to Recovery
Even if you follow all of the proper safety measures, there’s no way to ensure that a motorcycle accident won’t occur. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, we recommend consulting with an attorney that regularly handles these types of cases.
Members of our Carrollton motorcycle accident attorneys here at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare are passionate motorcyclists themselves. Because of this, we have an expansive knowledge of Texas’ complex motorcycle accident laws. Contact us or schedule an appointment today to see how we can help maximize your recovery.